Update on this piece: Oct 5 2010. Decided that the composition does not work so abandoned. Have done some structure drawings to improve. Problem was that I assumed that I could simply re-do the Still Life and place it in an interior. I needed to consider the distances and the colours beforehand. I could possibly repaint colours but a redraw would be best. (Completed 7 hours of painting at this point but see above.
I need to reflect on this before I continue. Notes on what next in painting notes.)
Interesting to consider the illusory nature of paint especially when one then thinks of the works of Auerbach and Bomberg, where the paint becomes the painting -abstracting and easing away from the image. The illusion then just 'suggests' and makes the viewer work hard to 'see'.
The problem of perspective here decreases as the structure of the painting is echoed in the paint. So expressiveness and originality soars to the fore, leaving behind the core basic traditions of paintwork. As in literature, creativity though only occurs when one can transcend the basics. Such a long way to go. Does challenge the mind set.
Structure of this attempted painting is unbalanced and the foreground is like a painting by numbers as I tried to paint the spaces in between and overdid the shapes. Abandoned it because I couldn't do the foreground with the big srokes and tonal range as I had intended.
Painted at start of OCA course in response to view.
Pretty pretty painting in acrylic that has weaknesses in paintstrokes, tonal range in foreground and in the failure to decide how to bring the message to the fore. Not finished as I di not want to resort to detail in foreground but to wait until I could confidently paint foreground in particular in big brush sweeps that say something. Cad yell tried on plant but it does not work. Still thinking how to resolve whilst keeping cool harmony.
Intend to bring the idea of memory trapped in landscape via allusion. Keeping away from collage as I need to improve ways of resolving these issues first
Decided to try out using a board to help me to annotate notes, evaluations, write up next steps as well as collate colour charts as I paint. This board stands next to my painting easel at the same height and is becoming a great working method for me. So easy to do paintmarks alongside as a check and to keep a 'diary'. Love mixing tones and adding them (with a note of how mixed!) to the charts.
Can easily photo for log or paste into a painting notebook for keeps.
Enjoyed the pleasure of using different pencils and went to buy wider range.
Tones a bit darker than image.
Highlights could be better. Improved on my attempt in 2009 when I was all over the place with charcoal.
Read in 'Art and Illusion' by Gombrich, how Constable used approx a 2B pencil for a landscape sketch then two years later he did the same scene in a darker rougher pencil. The difference is remarkable and quite exciting. But then I have to ask myself, why am I doing this when the gradations of the Masters is huge - in drawing and painting. Am I doing this is widen my skills? How does it contribute to my creativity? One cannot run before walking but for example, collage can say more in tone and message. Maybe it just adds to the repertoire and therefore contributes to creativity in the long run.
Sketch drawn 1 month into OCA course followed by a gouache version to see how paintwork improved. Need to paint a new version to check on improvement. Too dark and not enough tonal variation. Not good shape. Used ochre and made it difficult for myself. Perhaps use acrylic or oils as well next then paint the drawn pepper as a challenge
Drawing the interior is relatively easy in comparison to making colour decisions. The more I read about colour the more decisions are to be made. Also, having scrutinised another Ivon Hitchens Still Life - 'Flowers in a Vase' 1935 Oil on canvas, on a visit to Manchester City Gallery, I was intrigued by the colour selection, the proportions and the positions on the canvas. In particular, lemon yellow and dulled lemon yellow (no image located yet though I have a study in my sketchbook.) The paint marks are gestural, incredibly well positioned and there are no redundant areas of colour or brushmarks; all of them are as integral to the composition as the emerging vase, water and flowers.
I can see this and it has made me start re-defing my colour study. I need to do some small colour studies to made confident headway ... or I could just start and be intuitive.
Improved use of colour mixing because I took lots of time to read and try out mixing tones. I also started another painting (not for course studies but for pleasure and to move forward using refreshed skills)
As a result I was able to spot and use tones in the colour study to resolve an area that did not work. I keep browsing the texts -Itten et al, as well as Wilcox for further support. Very valuable indeed.
Also am trying out using pieces of birch plywood as a support. Will be interesting as I have only used canvas and paper previously.
The visit to see the Auerbach really changed my use of brush and I feel more relaxed with the paint though this is tempered by practical working methods and brush sizes I use: Need to buy some larger ones from DIY (those purchased load too much paint). Using larger supports too - working on a metre by metre (for a landscape) and larger rectangles are prepared with gesso for next steps. With my personal painting, I feel almost at the point of using paint as I have in the past- with the paint marks, the areas and the meanings in space.
So what are next steps?
Prep a work plan so that I move on towards completing 2 assessment stages for the next sending in date (if possible)
Prep how to organise painting notes and continuing tone charts into a usable file or notebook
Read ahead so that resources are ready
Set out what I want to achieve smartly before I start a project so that I evaluate against these benchmark and those of tutor.
Upload images now that OCA has completed transfers
Visit Edinburgh to see Nat Gallery and Contem Art Gallery to scrutinise colour and brushwork of artists such as Eardley, Glasgow Boys etc and today's painters (esp to see where flat opaque colour is used with textured paint in same pieces or flat colour is used dynamically)
start layering the recent landscape when composition is sound
change lighting daylight source from Velux as the top down light makes less shadow.
This made a difference to my colour study start together with the Hitchens painting in the study text. I trawled my art books as well for paintings where the paintwork/colour and the proportion of area (of colour) created space but not necess. figuratively. Fascinating. I do remember trying to paint using colour shapes to do this but not as freely. More in the manner of the painter Keith Vaughn. His colours were those of 'pigeon shit' - pardon the expression but an accurate phrase. As a result of my gallery visit and the browsing, my colour study was more spontaneous and enjoyable to do.
Next Steps: Must re-look at colour used after short reflection time, not be tempted into detail. Big picture. Upload image When OCA back online, will place links from Bridgeman to remind me.
I couldn't paint yesterday. Was stuck. Went to see the tiny exhib of a few St Ives School painters in Kendal. It was good to see some in the flesh. But the wow factor came when I spotted the original Frank Auerbach of a nude. (perm collection of Abbot Hall) So powerful to stand back from. (Write up and thumbnails in sketchbook) Came back and started painting. Made me more aware of the freedom that can occur with paint and brush, making the 'description' clearer and more intense than a 're-drawing in paint' effect.
Next steps: Will paint more freely and have more colour on brush. Will try out some large arm movements with brush on newsprint to release any tension and enjoy the paint Will stand further back Will browse reference colour charts as well as other painters for 'space' created by colour.
Now I find that carrying a small sketchbook is paying off, particularly outdoors. I need to look at the sketchbooks of artists now. Inspired to see that Henry Moore sketched the sheep in the field outside his studio. I have lots of sheep outside the window so that's a start. I have struggled to sketch some local trees and have botched the effect but then I realised that it was the early morning shadows with the trees that say more.
Spent three 2 hour sessions with charcoal, conte and gouache, trying to distill the essence of landscapes scenes to make headway with structure and tone. Really enjoyed it and esp using new easel outside. Need to spend time en plein assessing and mixing tones. Even if just for small areas. Haven t got my act together doing this in a sketchbook.
Still not started the colour study but have worked with pastel and thumbnails to consider the spaces and objects. Intend to work quickly at first, largely intuitively and spontaneously in flat colour then rework harmonies and contrasts to build up colour and space. May try some texture if another 'layer' would add to the space created. If that occurs. The reflection has helped a lot.